Ji Young Oh is just 20 years old, but she was the eldest of the two golfers involved Sunday in the 33rd annual LPGA State Farm Classic's first playoff since 1997.

Ji Young Oh is just 20 years old, but she was the eldest of the two golfers involved Sunday in the 33rd annual LPGA State Farm Classic's first playoff since 1997.

And even though 19-year-old Yani Tseng led Oh 1-0 in career LPGA wins, it was the older player from South Korea who was able to keep her cool on a windy but sweltering Sunday at Panther Creek Country Club.

"I wasn't all that nervous," Oh said after earning her first career win - and the first mid-July championship in Classic history - with a par on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff against Tseng.

"I started this week, from the first day, I was playing pretty well with hitting all the shots I wanted. I addition to that, I've been getting what I would call mental calls from Korea. So I think the calls that I've taken have helped my mental aspect of the game tremendously."

Oh, in her second year on the LPGA Tour, was referring to help she's been receiving from a sports psychologist. So perhaps her victory Sunday was a mind-over-matter achievement. But regardless of the categorization, Oh seized the victory after she trailed Tseng by one stroke very late in the regulation round.

The win was worth $255,000 to Oh, whose previous best was a sixth place in last year's Safeway Classic. Tseng, who was the lone top-10 money winner in the Classic field, collected $156,002 to push her season total to $1,032,761 - fifth on the money list.

The final round was marked by the absence of Michelle Wie, who was one shot behind leader Tseng after play concluded Saturday. But Wie was disqualified later Saturday for failing to sign her scorecard before she left the scoring area after Friday's round.

Tseng, a Taiwanese rookie who earned her first victory via a playoff in the McDonald's LPGA Championship in early June, had a chance to get win No. 2 on Sunday before experiencing the first of two straight mishaps on the par-4 18th hole.

With No. 18 playing downwind and Oh trailing Tseng by a stroke, Tseng's approach shot - from the middle of the fairway - bounced off the skybox grandstand behind the green.

With the pin tucked in the back right corner of the green, Tseng chipped to within 6 feet above the hole, but she ran the par putt past the hole and took a bogey that placed her in a playoff with Oh.

Tseng, who'd shot 66 in each of her first three rounds, had an even-par 72 for a total of 18-under-par 270. Oh finished with her fourth straight sub-70 round: a 69 and a 270. They both finished one shot ahead of South Korean rookie Na Yeon Choi, who had a 68 for a 271.

Three players tied for fourth place at 272: Chinese rookie Shanshan Feng, who played in the second group of the day and posted a career-best 63 for Sunday's low round; South Korea's Hee-Won Han, who had a tournament-record 61 Saturday but a 71 Sunday; and Stacy Prammanasudh, who had a 69 Sunday to get the top finish by an American.

"I didn't think the wind was so strong," Tseng said of her approach shot on regulation 18. "Maybe I hit it too good and it just flew over. It was like 170 yards. I hit a 7-iron and it just flew over. I couldn't do anything."

It was the Classic's first playoff since 1997 and its first-ever playoff under a 72-hole format. Playing No. 18 again, Oh and Tseng both hit drives in the fairway. Tseng's approach left her just off the putting surface on the right edge of the green, about 30 feet below the hole. Oh's second shot bounced off the back of the green and into the rough.

Tseng elected to chip and ran it about 6 feet above the hole, while Oh chipped down within a foot. After Tseng missed her par attempt for a bogey, Oh tapped in for the clinching par.

"It's hard to explain how happy, how satisfied I am right now," said Oh, who answered some post-round questions through a translator. "Even at the moment that I'm speaking right now I would love to do this interview in English, but my mind is just a total blank right now.

"You know, I apologize for that. But it feels great."

Tseng, playing one group behind Oh on Sunday, had birdied the par-5 16th hole to get to 1 under par for the day and 19 under for the tournament. As Tseng reached the tee at the par-3 17th, she saw Oh missing a short par putt on the 17th green to fall to 18 under for the tourney.

"I saw her miss the putt, so I feel very comfortable that I've got the lead," Tseng said. "And I feel I can win, but the 18th hole, on the second shot . . .

"I feel if you have the lead, you have more pressure than when you are not leading. When you are loose and your are not leading, you can do anything you want. You just try to relax and have fun and enjoy, but I just couldn't do it."

Oh, coming off a 10th-place finish the week before, had a six-birdie, three-bogey round Sunday. She birdied just one of the par-5's: No. 16. But four of her birdie putts ranged from 6 to 10 feet.

"Today I'm just - I was calm and I just tried to keep my focus," Oh said. "I'm really happy right now."

Tseng and Oh were among more than 20 players in the Classic who'll travel to France for the upcoming Evian Masters. Tseng, who admitted she wasn't comfortable with the leader's role entering Sunday's round, said she'd chalk this one up to experience.

"This is my first runner-up, so I really just learned a lot," Tseng said. "Today I think I just didn't relax enough and I didn't play my game. I know if I play my game. I think too much today."

Springfield State Journal-Register writer Dave Kane can be reached at 788-1544.